Finding Her Strength Again: Nicole Heydt, Kickboxing and Recovery from Breast Cancer | Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
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By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Caitlin D

I cannot say enough positive things about Pentagon MMA. I moved to VA without knowing anyone and I quickly made life long friends here. In addition to these connections, I learned not only Muay Thai, but the ART of Muay Thai. I cannot stress how rare this is. Pentagon MMA is not just a cardio kickboxing class. You will learn proper technique, the art of Muay Thai and its origins, and boost your self-confidence. Vivek was the best teacher I have ever had in Muay Thai, and I have yet to find a school that even comes close to PMMA now that I have moved north for work. Best Muay Thai school around!

Corin C reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I am a complete newbie when it comes to Muay Thai. I have grappled with some friends with jiujitsu and always wanted to get back into some sort of martial art but as a female, I always felt intimidated as usually these places are male-dominated. I did not have to worry about that here! The instructors have always been informative, patient, and kind. It must rub off onto the people to as they have been super nice as well. I'm glad I signed up! Will continue this until I move out of the area but I definitely have a better appreciation for Muay Thai now thanks to Pentagon MMA.

Julia Benson

Awesome place. I love training here. Have been learning Muay Thai for over a year. The trainers are excellent and the community outstanding. The facility is always clean and all the staff is very friendly. I would recommend this gym to anyone: Beginners and advanced. Master Chon keeps the lessons interesting so that you will learn something new.

Beth B

My son is in summer camp at Pentagon MMA in Arlington. It's fantastic -- he's really happy and they have a very organized and well-run program. In addition to martial arts, they take several field trips (and even had a back-up field trip set up for a rainy day), and do a lot of activities with character-building elements. When I picked him up a few minutes early at the end of his first day, he asked me if he could stay longer and keep playing with his new friends. I'm very impressed with the staff and coaches, and I definitely plan to sign him up again next summer.

Alexis T reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My son went to Spring Camp here. We had not seen the facility before we dropped him off the first day so he was a bit nervous (as was I), but within minutes the welcoming staff made us feel comfortable and gave clear directions on how we could jump into the fun. When I picked him up that first afternoon, he said "Mom, you know what I liked about camp? EVERYTHING". He wanted to tell me about his day every day of camp, when I am normally prying it out of him. Huge hit and we will definitely be back.

Kieran Tomlinson

Pentagon MMA is excellent!!! My 4-year-old son started with the aim of learning self-defence, but he has learnt so much more! His confidence, listening and responsiveness, and focus and concentration have all improved!!! Thanks Pentagon MMA.

Bella D reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My older kid started coming here a few months after I did (she's 4). It's been amazing - from the facility itself (clean, open spaces) to the staff (professional, welcoming). There is an air of humility and hard work that permeates and is contagious -- and you can see it stems from the leadership of owner Kru Vivek.

Jake D

I cannot explain how much this has helped my four-year-old daughter. Your head would explode if you heard her shouting "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" around the house for chores. She has taken to the discipline very well and it's helped in her academics and in her social life, not to mention that she is learning to defend herself with some solid foundations.

Mike K

My kids studied at Pentagon MMA for several years each. Vivek and the other instructors taught them how to defend themselves, how to defuse tense situations, how to stick up for kids being bullied, how to conduct themselves with maturity and respect for others, and how to be mentally and physically tough. All of these lessons transferred to their lives outside of MMA. They are respectful, confident, and mature young people now. In addition to being proficient at MMA, the mental and physical rigor and determination they learned at Pentagon has been critical in one of them transitioning to collegiate athletics and the other on the way to doing so. The discipline and focus have also led to high GPAs and a drive to succeed. I can't recommend Pentagon MMA highly enough. It's been central to the successful development of my kids.

Kadeam Vendryes reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I’m new to learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and I wanted to learn the art from a gym that would push me to be great but also accept me as part of a family/team. I’m happy to say that Pentagon MMA is just the place, where I have found both and more. I’m still very new to the sport and the gym but I feel confident that I will be training at the gym for a while even though I live a decent distance away. Pentagon MMA has exceptional customer service, great instructors, and welcoming members! I highly recommend this gym to new and experienced martial artist OSU!

Mary Ellen Hickman reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I highly recommend Pentagon MMA. I've been taking the women's kickboxing classes since November. Staff members are warm, welcoming, and immediately made me feel comfortable. I love the instructors (Belinda and Patti are particularly fantastic) and the challenging and supportive environment. If you're on the fence, try a free class or two. I think you'll love it.

Joi Calia reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I’ve been coming here for several months and I love it. I started coming because I felt bored with my usual workouts. Kickboxing is like no other and will kick your butt. The gym is so welcoming and there are people of all fitness levels and ages. The classes are tough but manageable and I’m getting in the best shape of my life. Highly recommend.

Levi Vise-grip Sadr reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Pentagon MMA has a range of different programs unlike many other gyms. It is wonderful for those who want to get fit and it's serious enough for those who want to fight. They have an amazing kids program as well

Karen Yvonne Lucas reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

There is no better place to train for your children or for you. Very Highly Recommended. Say hello when you visit !!

Katrina Combs reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I couldn't ask for a better fight home. This gym makes you feel like you are amongst friends and family. The staff are awesome, the coaches are awesome, and the atmosphere in the gym will give you that charge to put in that extra work!!

Leo Lainez reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Amazing place. The staff is beyond friendly and create a truly welcoming environment. At no point do you feel like an outsider. The training is top notch. Master Chon is a true professional and makes sure you're learning step by step. Walking into Pentagon MMA has been one of the best decisions of my life.

Michelle Welti reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Pentagon MMA is an excellent place to train! Vivek is an outstanding Muay Thai coach and their BJJ instructor, Sugi, is not only a BJJ Black belt but also a 2x Olympic Judoka. They are both friendly, welcoming, and great at what they do! If you are looking to start training in the Arlington area, this is definitely the place to go!

Cindy Ali reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I have seen, from far away, how Pentagon MMA has grown from its beginnings to what it has become today. Vivek, the owner, introduced me to Muay Thai a few years ago and ever since I can’t seem to stop. Vivek showed me the basics to this beautiful art, back then he would tell me about his dream of opening a gym where he could share his knowledge with everyone else. After a few years, I finally went to visit his accomplished dream, his own gym, I was truly impressed. Pentagon MMA is a true Muay Thai school, where people are learning how to perfect their moves. I haven’t yet seen anyone who is there to show off or to put anyone down, everyone is focused and is there to learn. Thank you Vivek for Muay Thai is now part of my life. Thank you Kru Chon for never letting me quit!

Natalie Wong reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I couldn't ask for a better place to train and call my second home! Pentagon MMA has hands down the best instructors. Master Chon and Master Vivek run an awesome Muay Thai program that keeps you fit and always learning more techniques. The gym has a "family vibe" atmosphere and everyone in the community is supportive of your fitness goals. I've already lost 20lbs thanks to PMMA's fight team, training, and encouragement. If you're looking to train with the best, you should definitely check out this gym.

MaryEllen Hickman reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I highly recommend Pentagon MMA. I've been taking the women's kickboxing classes since November. Staff members are warm, welcoming, and immediately made me feel comfortable. I love the instructors (Belinda and Patti are particularly fantastic) and the challenging and supportive environment. If you're on the fence, try a free class or two. I think you'll love it.

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Finding Her Strength Again: Nicole Heydt, Kickboxing and Recovery from Breast Cancer

Treatment and recovery from breast cancer can leave even young, fit women with frequent pain and barely a fraction of the energy they used to have.

That was the case for Nicole Heydt. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 at just 22 years old, Nicole found herself in recovery more often than not.

Nicole had always been an active person, trying lots of different types of workouts to keep herself interested. She was a regular at Down Dog in the hot Vinyasa flow class, running, lifting weights, swimming and more. She even completed a mini Army training camp at Fort Knox in Kentucky the summer before her diagnosis, which left her feeling the most fit she’d ever been.

But all of that changed when she had to begin cancer treatments. She had a total of six surgeries on her chest in just two years.

“I went from being able to do 30 to 40 pushups straight, to barely being able to do 10 or 15 modified pushups, on my knees,” Nicole remembers.

By the beginning of this year, Nicole was starting to feel a little more like herself again, so when a friend invited her to join her for a free trial class at her gym, Pentagon MMA, she agreed. Her friend had been a member for a while, and couldn’t stop raving to Nicole about how much she loved it.

“I saw the difference Muay Thai made in her life,” Nicole recalls. “I wanted to feel healthier and stronger again, and since she had been so happy with the gym, I came in for a few trial classes.”

Right away, Nicole was struck with what a complete workout she got.

“I threw up after the warm-up during my first Muay Thai class,” she said—but she wasn’t going to let it stop her. “I thought it was tough, but definitely what I needed. After I got it out of my system, I finished the rest of class.”

After trying a few trial classes, Nicole eventually fell in love with Pentagon MMA’s Women’s Fitness Kickboxing program. She says, particularly with her health challenges, the program is perfect because of its flexibility, allowing her the ability to customize it depending on how she’s feeling, health-wise.

“I ended up choosing the Women’s Kickboxing program because I can make my workout as strenuous or light as I need to depending on my day and my body’s needs,” she explains. “I come back as often as I have time because I love the workout and the energy that accompanies it. I also just really enjoy the community—the instructors and members.”

Since joining Pentagon MMA as a member in March of this year, Nicole says she is seeing myriad changes in her body for the better—especially the giant energy boost she gets from the kickboxing workouts, which she says really help her body’s recovery from breast cancer and all the treatments and surgeries that come with it.

“My body has definitely become stronger — I can run two to three miles without getting winded now. That might not be much for most people, but for someone who hates running and has never been great at it, this is definitely a personal accomplishment,” she explains. “Now, not only can I work out comfortably, but I can run, AND I can do around 10 pushups without my knees again.”

“The chest pain is still significant, but it has started to decrease as my strength increases,” she adds.

The changes have been more than just physical, too.

“Mentally I am also stronger. I push myself in ways that I had not before, and I also just feel healthier having a safe way to exert daily frustrations!”

Most amazingly, Nicole says, the workouts have changed from being something she used to have to push herself to do, into something she chooses and gets to do.

“I started out thinking that kickboxing was necessary for a workout and to maintain my strength, but now I see it as a reward after a long day,” she says. “Kickboxing has helped me find my strength again – physically and mentally.”